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I just read Kos' diary about the Daily Kos setting traffic record after traffic record every month. That's great news because my worry is that the liberal blogoshere is otherwise dead. Remember when Digby, TPM and progressive sites actually impacted the news cycle. Now it seems that the news cycle is dominated by either the right or the craven - witness folks like Charles Johnson and countless others on the right who seem to driving the news.

As Kos pointed out in his diary, some of the main  conservative sites are declining in traffic but I believe that's because there are a ton more conservative sites and that the new right wing sites are stealing traffic from the old established sites but that - on our side - the established progressive sites are disappearing and are not being replaced. My impression - and I hope I"m wrong - is that the online energy is on the other side these days. Except for Daily Kos, the other sites that used to help us drive the news cycle - like TPM, 538, and others - are running out of gas or visitors.

Look at TPM's quantcast  numbers - Josh's uniques are down by 22%. Sam Wang is barely publishing. Five Thirty Eight has become a weird craven shadow of itself.

The only new positive story I can think of these days is Vox (and the huge success of progressive sites like Buzzfeed, Upworthy and Gawker).

My hunch/worry is that Google may have killed the liberal blogosphere. I know a liberal green publisher and what he told me is that the Google network developed the abliity to replicate his audience and sell ads for that demographic. This obviously drove his ad rates down (and made his biz unstainable). I'd guess this might have happened to other small publishers.

The guys on the right, ironically, have never needed to sell ads, make money to stay in business. The conservative funders give them $ for driving the narrative. Our guys need to make a living.

This makes me thankful for Daily Kos. I would, though, appreciate Kos' and others in the know thoughts about all this in terms of what happened to the progressive blogsphere and the (great) people who provided so much energy (and advantage) to the progressive stay when the liberal blogosphere was ascendent. I wonder if the diminishment of the progressive side only is why Obama can never catch a break these days. There is no real push from the progressive side anymore on the media.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  A lot of good liberal blogging (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinto Pony, AnnieR, Simplify, Bluefin

    Is happening at the state and local levels

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 12:54:50 PM PDT

  •  Wow a 4 digit UID! The media only delivers (5+ / 0-)

    undiluted rightwing bullshit. You noticed. It has been a topic of conversation on both sides of the Atlantic lately.

    Of course something else is coming through or we wouldn't know about income inequality and Thomas Piketty. But there's been a definite change in the weather. If I leave the US even for a little while, it feels like an information exclusion zone upon return. It's worse here.
    How did the Soviet Union control 250 million citizens for decades? Easy, they just didn't tell them anything. Well, anything consequential. Or anything that didn't suit the party's agenda.

    Everyone knows that the US isn't the Soviet Union, to be clear. Even a friend of mine in the EU says the US is a lot nicer to France than the Soviet Union ever was to Poland or Hungary. (it's a joke)

    Media and propaganda are topics I like. Editorial control reflects ownership. It also reflects the realities of commerce. Influencing human behavior on a mass scale for profit and politics has been around since the 1920s.

  •  If that's true.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    then I think it's a good thing. Having all the liberals under one roof allows for easier and better message-spreading, activism championing, and fundraising. The hydra beast that is the conservative blogosphere can have number of sites on their side, but contrary to popular opinion, competition doesn't always lead to better things. Sometimes it just dilutes an otherwise powerful entity.

  •  With Facebook preventing posts from reaching (5+ / 0-)

    all of a site's followers, it seems like traffic to liberal blog sites is falling.  Several of the sites I follow have been complaining that their posts may only reach 10% of their followers.  The next post may go to a different 10%.  The subsequent posts are seen only by another fraction.  Apparently, Facebook will send all posts to most followers but only if the site pays FB.  Also, most of the posts sent from sites that refuse to pay Facebook, don't appear on the timeline of their followers any more.  They are listed under "Notifications" and the user has to search for them.    And as traffic to a site declines, so does its advertising appeal.  When that happens, the rates paid by advertisers decrease.  So the blogs are getting hammered by their posts being selectively filtered out and virtually hidden and having their incomes slashed.  Looks like many of the sites may wind up folding because of decreasing audiences and decreasing cash flow.

    A word to the wise is sufficient. Republicans need at least a paragraph.

    by d3clark on Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 04:14:26 PM PDT

  •  How much traffic decrease... (0+ / 0-)

    ...might be due to the banning of liberal referrals from the politics subreddit last year?

    Large sites like Daily Kos and Huffington Post don't depend as much on referrals as readers go there directly, so are presumably less affected.

    My hunch/worry is that Google may have killed the liberal blogosphere. I know a liberal green publisher and what he told me is that the Google network developed the abliity to replicate his audience and sell ads for that demographic.
    I don't understand what that means.  Google sells display and text ad placement on sites, and they sell ad space in search result pages.  They are not a content aggregator with ads on their own portal.  Ads in search results are clearly marked and don't dominate the page.  Search results direct traffic to sites, which is beneficial to most smaller sites as otherwise, they would get little traffic --  few would know they even exist.   Google doesn't take payment to boost placement in search results -- if someone is claiming that, they're wrong.  (Full disclosure:  I used to work for Google.)
  •  Digby is still around, writing for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Salon was one of the first liberal political blogs online. It is better than ever with Thomas Frank recently added to its list of writers. It's the place to go for very good writing.

    Traffic does not mean engagement, it just means people clicking to see what's here.

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